Tasting the benefits of limited government

ADVERTISEMENT
After eight years under a Democratic governor, Wisconsin faced a $3.6 billion budget shortfall, a high tax climate, and was hemorrhaging jobs. Voters soundly rejected – not once, but twice –the notion that more government, more taxes, and more spending would solve our problems. 

But this is the exact same plan that President Obama, and his Democratic colleagues, are trying to sell to the American public and voters in my home state.

The president has made clear that his vision for the future of this country involves more government, taxes, and spending. A simple evaluation of his record gives Wisconsinites a picture as to what the future would hold under a second term.

Candidate Barack Obama made the now-infamous pledge that he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. But as president, he attacked attempts to address the drivers of our national debt while adding $5 trillion to it. He has yet to present a plan to reduce our debt; in fact, his most recent budget did not garner a single vote in Congress.

Instead, in order to feed our bloated government and out-of-control spending, the President crisscrossed the country campaigning for higher taxes that would hit 900,000 small businesses. These tax hikes are estimated to kill 14,900 jobs in Wisconsin.

The president’s major legislative achievement, ObamaCare, is also a drag on job creation. Nearly 3 in 4 small businesses say that ObamaCare discourages them from hiring. Recent estimates say it will take 80 million man-hours just to comply with its rules and regulations. That is a lot of time spent on paperwork, not job creation.

Even beyond its impact on the economy, ObamaCare will hurt Wisconsin, not help. If President Obama is reelected and ObamaCare remains law, we can expect 100,000 Wisconsinites to lose their employer-provided health care and 59 percent of people who buy their own health insurance will see their premium increase.

What the president has been unable to accomplish legislatively, his administration has by regulation. So, his Administration’s regulations also paint a bleak picture for Wisconsinites about what to expect from another term.

While the president claims to have an “all-of-the-above” energy plan, his EPA issued emissions standards so burdensome that coal plants are closing down across the country to comply.

Last week, the largest coal company announced it will cut 1,200 jobs nationwide, due in part to "a regulatory environment that's aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal."

Wisconsinites should be concerned: coal provides around two-thirds of our electric power.

When I spoke with small business owners in my district, they were fed up with a federal government that doesn’t get it and regulations that seem detached from the real world. One owner said, “There is no cost-benefit analysis that seems to make any sense, and I think it has a lot of people scared. If you aren’t in their sights, you are probably soon to be in their sights.”

Wisconsin’s taxpayers, families, and small businesses can’t afford four more years of President Obama’s big-government vision for the country.
Mitt Romney brings the understanding of what it takes to get our economy working again and infuse the private sector with the confidence that government is not out to get them, but rather get out of their way.

After announcing Paul Ryan as his running mate, the gap in Wisconsin closed significantly. It is more than the fact that Paul is Wisconsin’s Congressman from the First District—but that he has exhibited real leadership when there was a void. Paul Ryan took on the nation’s budgetary problems when the President demurred. In Wisconsin, we have been proud of his work for years, and we are happy to share him with the rest of the nation.

It is no wonder the president is finally making it to Wisconsin after an eight month hiatus. Wisconsin has tasted the benefits of limited government and restrained spending. And it is much better than what the president has been selling.

Sensenbrenner is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee.